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  • Taken
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on May 25, 2001
I completely disagree with the reader in Pittsburgh, PA who found this book to be incoherent. Did s/he read the same book as I did? I can't believe it!
Once I began reading Taken, I was hooked. I read it in two days. It is definitely a page turner, but not in a cliched cliff-hanger at the end of every chapter sort of way. The author has such a flair for words and for creating believeable characters that I turned each page because I *cared* what happened next. The book revolves around a kidnapped baby and how such an act affects everyone involved, from the police, to the kidnappers, to the heroine and to the baby's family. What's really neat about Taken is that you get into the minds of all the characters, all of whom (including the kidnappers) come across as being genuinely human. This book is a literary novel that just so happens to be a mystery. What a fine combination that doesn't insult the reader's intelligence! The author is skilled in her ability to weave together all of these lives, and by the end of the book, I missed having to say good bye to the characters.
As for the reader in Pittsburgh who didn't like the book (?!), there's that old saying, "Not everyone likes pearls." This is definitely a gem of a book.
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on May 30, 2001
Being a mystery buff, when I read the rave review for TAKEN..., I went out and bought it. I found TAKEN to be smart and suspenseful. It was definitely well-worth the money and something I plan to read again.
The novel is about a young woman, Marina Benedict, whose marriage is falling apart. She has always noticed babies, being childless herself, and on one particular day, she notices a baby that catches her eye. Later that day, she sees the same baby with someone who looks suspicious. She follows the kidnapper and the baby, and that's when you really can't put the book down!
George is an exceptional writer, and I look forward to reading more from her.
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on May 28, 2001
Taken is a novel with a crime in it. Many crime novels are cold or cool, but this one is warm. You can feel the blood pulsing in the characters. Sometimes the emphasis is on what they are thinking and feeling instead of on immediate actions or a body count. It's a combination of a very high profile plot and a novel of interior life. I loved every word of it!
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on July 12, 2001
Normally, I don't read thrillers, but having lived for a time in Pittsburgh, I was interested in reading a novel set in a city that I was very fond of. I found the book to be a real "page turner" and was beginning to resent any time that I had to set it aside. I had read Ms. George's previously published book of short stories (The Man in the Buick- which I also highly recommend) and what I admired in her writing in that book was also a quality present in her new novel: a pristine, almost clinical prose that manages to generate a sense of warmth and emotional engagement with the events and characters on the page. In TAKEN, the characters are clearly drawn; so much so that I found myself wishing that the ones who appeared briefly had more time on the page. I also very much liked how my expectations of situations and characters were almost always upended- that was part of what made the book difficult to put down for me. Far from making the plot muddled or far fetched (living in NYC, nothing seems far fetched to me) the frequent turn arounds kept me wanting to hurtle through the book and discover where I was being led. Finally, what I most liked about the writing was that rather than just being a straight forward thriller, Ms. George was using the genre as an outline which she then filled in with the colors of a psychological study. I would most definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for a good Summer read. It's going to be a few people's Christmas gifts this year, too. I look forward to whatever comes from Ms. George in the future.
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on July 3, 2016
It's a police procedural, a psychological thriller, a child abduction story, a romance, and a suspense drama all at once. The writer's style is simple and gripping and thought-provoking. Characters are realistic and the plot is tight. This is the second book by Kathleen George that I've read, and it's official now: I have a new favorite author.
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on June 5, 2001
I found TAKEN to be a terrifically gripping page-turner. The characters were richly-drawn individuals,the settings were wonderfully evoked and the plot original and engrossing. I thought the 'maternal-instinct' aspect was clever and an interesting layer of the story, but it never diluted the "thriller" aspect of the book. I hope Ms. George will continue to write about these characters, especially Christie; I kind of have a crush on him,,,
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on May 25, 2001
This novel is built upon several elements that set it apart from the mundane--a bit of irony, some humor, and believable characters. "Taken" is not your run-of-the-mill "who-done-it" novel. Rather, it is an engrossing, page-turning thriller that does not insult the readers intelligene. Beyond all of this, it is a fun read!
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on January 12, 2002
I am usually turned-off by mass fiction, especially thrillers, because alas, usually they are not well-written and are solely plot driven. I bought Taken as a fluke because the storyline, about a kidnapped baby and black market adoption, intrigued me.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well-developed the characters were. They had true-to-life human qualities that made them believeable.
If you're looking for a thriller in the vein of, say, James Patterson, then this isn't it. This is more of a beautifully written character study that is psychological and believeable.
In the end, ask yourself, if you were in the heroine's shoes, wouldn't you have done what she did to rescue the baby? For me, the answer is a resounding yes!
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on August 11, 2001
I'm a lifetime reader. I read for my pleasure but also to recommend books to my busy children. So I read "Taken", totally involved in this new kind of heroine, this Marina of perfect integrity. I loved every word, every sentence, every page and naturally didn't want it to end (and can't wait for the next Kathleen George !). Passed it to my pregnant daughter and she was loving it so much that she told me she was reading it to her foetus. Next daughter read it and loved it and even the sons-in-law who never read fiction, broke down and read it too. This is an emotional reaction, unlike the book reviews we had to write for school. Others have retold the story - and there is a great story - I like the contagion of enthousiasm. I felt while reading it that I was living each moment with the characters, breathing with them, and Kathleen George actually breathes life into her characters. I'm very impressed and elated that writers can do this. May they continue for all eternity. I love Kathleen George ! She has a whole fan club in faraway Nice, France.
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on May 26, 2001
I disagree with the reader below -- I could not put this book down. I have read all of Hammet, Chandler, Leonard, Lehane, Sayers, Conan Doyle, Poe, and much of Agatha Christie, and I found TAKEN to be as absorbing, gripping, and satisfying as any of them. I'd hate to think that the reader from Pittsburgh (where, according to the book jacket, the author lives and teaches) is a disgruntled former student, envious colleage, or bitter unpublished author, but it is tempting to think so, isn't it?
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